Interview with Jamie Jackson on Erik ten Hag: Cleaning up the mess

Jamie Jackson’s new book Because They Play Good F*cking Football was recently launched via Substack.

Jamie Jackson from The Guardian has launched a book via his newsletter, so he has done a Q&A with Stretty News to discuss Erik ten Hag since the book focuses on the Dutchman’s first season in charge of Manchester United.

The full interview can be read on the Stretty Newsletter here – but we’ve took a bit for you to enjoy below.

Manchester United started the season with defeats to Brighton and Brentford. Little did we think things would pick up like they did after beating Liverpool. What do you think has been the biggest challenge for Ten Hag at United?

Jamie: “Erik basically walked into a complete mess, so cleaning this up. There were dressing room factions, fans were seriously and understandably disenchanted, no structure to the team, no mode of play, there was (and still is) the Glazers situation to navigate, he had to filet/rebuild the squad. 

“In two words make all at the club ‘believe’ and be ‘happy’ again. I can tell you he has done both, there’s a smile on the faces of the people who work at the club and the team and fans definitely believe again.

“What he has achieved already – winning the Carabao Cup – 3rd place, a 6 point gap to 5th, shows how good he is – and there may well be more trophies – the FA Cup and/or Europa League. If Utd finish 4th and win nothing else still a very impressive season.”

How have you found dealing with Ten Hag in a press conference setting?

Jamie: “The way he handles the media shows this is  super-intelligent man. He is friendly, open and hard when needed – and so far I have never seen him even close to losing control.”

What is your aim for your new book on Ten Hag?

Jamie: “To entertain the reader, to offer a fresh slant on Man Utd are viewed, to shake up sports writing.”

Enjoy the rest of the interview over on our newsletter.

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